Academy News

Marine Biology Trip to Portsmouth University

Twenty-four of our students from Year 7 to Year 9, had an exciting day at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Portsmouth, where they were given the amazing opportunity to assist with research on invasive species in the local harbour. 

Our students worked alongside marine biologists and gained experience of real-life sampling techniques used in the field of species identification. They identified some incredible sea creatures in the harbour. Samples included a beautiful nudibranch, fan worms and even a pipefish.

Following this, two inspirational University of Portsmouth Masters students demonstrated their latest research on fish surveys and seahorse nurseries. In addition, our students were given a tour of the research aquarium inhabited by incredible blue blooded horseshoe crabs, as well as being shown the important marine molecular biology laboratory. 

The day was a very exciting experience for all the students and gave them an invaluable opportunity to ask current masters students what further education in the marine sector entails, in addition to gaining field and laboratory skills.

Athletics Success at Sandown 

Over 60 of our students travelled to The Bay C of E Secondary School last week to take part in an athletics competition against other Island schools.

Highlights of the day were:

Congratulations to all our students who participated. Your hard work, determination, and sportsmanship were truly commendable. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of you!

Dance Workshop With West End Performer

Our talented students recently had the chance to brush up their skills, and learn from the best, at a dance workshop led by renowned dancer, Yuki Abe. Yuki has danced in numerous UK theatres, performing in The King and I, Vanard, Wicked and many more. 

Yuki brought her infectious energy and expertise to our school, inspiring students of all levels. The workshop ended in a high-energy session where students put their newfound skills to the test.

Fete-tastic Fun Raises Funds for Prom

Students across all year groups loved the fundraising Fun Fete earlier this week. 

Everyone enjoyed trying their luck at the tombola, winning prizes galore. The competitive spirit was high in tin can alley! There were some impressive throws (and a few near misses!) 

A big thanks to all the student volunteers who made it such a successful event. We're one step closer to making prom night an unforgettable experience for our Year 11 students.

Year 5 Transition Day

There were lots of smiling faces when our local Year 5 primary school students joined us for their transition day last week. They got to experience a range of lessons, with fun icebreaker activities and individual tasks. These included Lego physics, computer science, a code challenge and some sporting activities. 

The transition day allows children to get more comfortable with our school, which in turn will help them adjust and settle in better when they arrive in Year 7. 

Thank you to our Year 10 students who helped to facilitate the day. Their funny clothing accessories in aid of Comic Relief helped to add to the fun for the visiting students!

World Book Day 2024 

What a fabulous day we’ve had celebrating World Book Day 2024! 

Staff went to incredible efforts to ensure our students had a day to remember. 

An Amazing Production of Annie

Our very own actors and actresses portrayed the classic story of Annie so brilliantly, entertaining the audience with their singing, dancing and acting. A big well done to everyone involved in making this such a success. 

Girls Football Champions! 

Last night, our Under 15's girls traveled to Sandown for their final league game of the season. 

The girls played a fantastic match, beating a tough Sandown 10 - 3. With 6 goals from Rachel, 2 from Poppy, 1 from Eve and 1 from Lizzie! 

The girls have been unbeaten all season and have become champions  for the 3rd season running! 

We are very proud of what this group of girls have achieved!

Dance Live Success!

They brought home the silver! Huge congratulations to our incredible dance group for their amazing performance at Dance Live! We're so proud of their dedication, talent, and teamwork. You all shone out there!

Double House Point Friday

Christmas Concert 2023

Remembrance Day 2023

This year Ryde Academy’s Senior Prefects organised a remembrance service to commemorate British service members who died in wars and other military conflicts since the onset of World War I.

Benson Hardy raised the flag and Miss Taylor played 'The Last Post' after the minute's silence.  Mia Mandale-Jenness and Amy Greenwell read out the poem, The Soldier by Rupert Brooke. 

Our 6th Form also held a separate ceremony attended by all Year 12 & 13 students. 

6th Form Open Evening 2023

On the 9th November our 6th Form held an open evening for parents / carers and students who are looking to join.  The evening was well attended with department teachers holding a variety of Q / A sessions. 

If you would like any further information you can contact our 6th form on


Open Evening 2023

On the 4th October we welcomed Year 5 & 6 students and their parents / carers in for our Open Evening. 

The evening started with a welcome presentation followed by a tour of the academy, led by our students. 

It was a great opportunity for everyone to find out more about what Ryde has to offer and meet with some of our departments teachers. 

GCSE Results Day 2023

The Year 11 students who sat the exams in May and June received their results, helping set their course for the future. The exams represent the culmination of their secondary school education and the grades students secure determine what they will go on and do next – further study, an apprenticeship or entry level role in the workplace.

To support the Year 11 students, staff at Ryde Academy laid on additional bespoke intervention lessons, holiday sessions and special evening revision sessions. All students also accessed lesson 6 provision giving students an extra hour a day of lessons.  

All these efforts paid off, with students securing some brilliant results, including:

A Level Results Day 2023

Sixth Formers celebrated some exceptional results in their A Levels and CTECs, securing places at some top universities, including Southampton and Surrey.

This is the second year that exams have taken place as normal, but schools across the country are still dealing with the impact of the pandemic.

To support them and help prepare them for their exams, staff at Ryde Academy laid on additional lessons, holiday sessions and worked with external subject coaches to support individual students to gain the best grades possible.

Annual Awards 

Ceremony 2023

On Thursday 13th July we held our annual Awards Ceremony in Ryde All Saints Church.  Students received awards for ‘Highest Achievement’ and ‘Best Progress’ throughout the year.  Chair of Ryde’s Academy Council, Professor Toby Salt, also presented awards to students with 100% attendance.

Lewey Way, Year 10, received the Principal’s Award for services to the school over the last year and his involvement in the student council.  

Naomi Hallum, Year 8, received the Academy Council Award for her incredible effort to push sustainability at Ryde Academy.  

There were 2 fantastic student performers on the night - Bonita Hunnybun singing Colours of the Wind and Grace Jones singing Slipping Through My Fingers by Abba.

Thank you to our parents and carers for joining all their support.  It was a wonderful evening of celebrations and we wish them all the best as we move on into the next academic year.  



Sports Day 2023

On Friday 30th June we held our annual sports day event. 

It was a fantastic morning with a variety of sporting events to include, javelin, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot and discuss.  

Unfortunately, due to the weather we had to postpone the afternoon track events which were rescheduled to take place on the 19th July.

The Green house secured the win again this year! Well done to everyone who took part and a special thank you to Mr McFarlane and his team for organising such an enjoyable day for us all.

Year 11 Prom

Last week the Year 11 Prom went ahead  at Landguard Manor in Shanklin. 

The students enjoyed a casino themed evening with Mr Nugent kindly offering to DJ.  After their meal, there were presentations and prizes to celebrate some of the students’ successes. 

We hope you all had a fabulous evening and we wish you all the very best for the future!



Ryde Academy has once again been awarded a 'Good' rating following its Ofsted inspection in November, with inspectors praising the 'leaders and staff who are ambitious for all pupils.’


The report states: “Pupils are proud to attend this school. Relationships between adults and pupils are strong.”


The Sixth Form provision at the academy was also graded ‘Good.’ The high aspirations that staff and students share were commended with inspectors stating that the teaching in the Sixth Form helps pupils to think deeply and work independently so that they are well prepared for the next stages in their education.’


Joy Ballard, Principal said: “We are incredibly proud of everyone at the school, staff and pupils alike, whose hard work and enthusiasm has been recognised by the Ofsted inspectors.  They acknowledged that success is regularly celebrated and students are encouraged to find their remarkable through academic success and the wide range of extracurricular activities on offer.”

 Professor Toby Salt, Chair of Ryde’s Academy Council shared his comments – “The best schools are those who fully serve their communities and that are consistently ‘GOOD’. The latest report for Ryde Academy is a pleasing endorsement of the hard work of the staff, pupils and their parents and carers. To be ‘Good’ in every category is great and the school will continue to get better and better.”

Aspire Ryde Food Donation December 2022

Ryde Academy students organised their annual food collection for Aspire Ryde.  Aspire Ryde is a local community hub who help support families and everyone is welcome  

This year the students donated Christmas treats to include mince pies, biscuits and Christmas puddings.  This was organised through the house system and students could win points for their House for the most items donated.

Our winning house this year was Blue house who will received 100 house points, followed by Red house in 2nd place (75 points), Green in 3rd place (50 points) and Yellow in 4th place (25 points.)


Mary Poppins

Our academy show, Mary Poppins, went ahead this week and the students put on a spectacular performance. 

They all worked so hard in their rehearsals and did the academy proud on the night.

 Well done to you all!

Wildheart Trust

24th November 2022  

The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in Sandown rescues threatened wildlife and puts the Isle of Wight at the frontline of the protection of endangered species.

With the massively rising energy costs, the Wildheart Trust approached Ryde Academy to seek help in the form of food donations for the animals.  Members of our student council helped to gather the donations ready for them to be transported to the sanctuary.  Thank you to everyone for your support with this. 


Remembrance Day 2022

This year our student council organised a remembrance service to commemorate British service members who died in wars and other military conflicts since the onset of         World War I.

Council Chairs, Amy Greenwell & Carmen Menzies raised the flag and Harry Sheppard, Year 11, played 'The Last Post' after the minute's silence as he does for us so beautifully every year.  Sasha Ringer, one of our Lead Prefects, read out a poem.

6th Form tutors and students gathered to observe the 2 minutes silence in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives and have been affected by war.

Students gathered outside and surrounded the poppy memorials which were made from discarded plastic bottles.

Benson Hardy read a poem and Anna Cockayne laid a wreath to mark the occasion. 

Open Evening 2022

On Wednesday 5th October we welcomed Year 5 & 6 students and their parents / carers in for a presentation in the theatre followed by a tour on our open evening.

 The evening was well attended and parents were given the opportunity to view our facilities and meet with department teachers.   We hope to welcome some of these families to Ryde Academy in the future. 


GCSE Results 2022

Staff and students from Ryde Academy, celebrated their first set of exam results since 2019. 

The exams represent the culmination of their secondary school education and the grades students secure determine what they will go on and do next – further study, an apprenticeship or entry level role in the workplace.

The last time formal exams were sat was summer 2019. In 2020 and 2021, students’ GCSE grades were decided by teacher assessment. This year exams returned with students demonstrating what they know and understand in the exam hall.

To support the Year 11 students, staff laid on additional interventions and bespoke support for the students including extended school day, holiday revision sessions, masterclasses and specialist support events.

All these efforts paid off, with students securing some brilliant results, including:

Principal, Joy Ballard said: 

Our students should be so very proud of themselves.   Not only have they demonstrated great potential in terms of their academic capabilities but shown huge resilience, giving incredible support to one another through all of the challenges they have faced.   The Academy has such a warm family ethos to it that combined with the incredible support given to the students by the staff, and of course their parents, this has enabled them to do so well.  A massive congratulations to them all.

Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Chief Executive of AET said:

“We’re all just so proud of everything that the staff and students have achieved this year. The pandemic has cast a long shadow, and our Year 11s have worked so hard and shown resilience and determination.

A Level Results 2022

Our Sixth Formers made a return to normality, with the first A Level and vocational qualifications results determined by their performance in exams since 2019. In the previous two years, students’ grades were decided by teacher assessment.

We had some phenomenal results from students, including:

This year’s sixth form results are even more impressive, given these students did not have the chance to sit exams for their GCSEs. To support them and help prepare them for their exams, staff laid on additional lessons, holiday revision, online tutoring and bespoke mentoring.

Principal, Joy Ballard of Ryde Academy said:

“I am so pleased for our students as well as the staff here who pulled out all of the stops to ensure the students had the best chance to catch up following the various disruptions to their studies over the last couple of years.  Our overall feeling is one of huge relief that these incredible young people have the opportunity to progress on to amazing futures and to achieve their dreams.”

Rebecca Boomer-Clark, Chief Executive of AET said:

“These are impressive, hard-fought results that will mean so much to these students. Despite the disruption the pandemic has caused, our students have dug in and shown enormous resilience and grit. It’s humbling to see what staff and students have achieved together and I can’t congratulate them enough. Toby, Sophie, Libby-Mae, Gabriel and Daniel  have done particularly well, and I wish them the very best for their next exciting steps.”

Schools Minister Will Quince said:

“I know students across the region – much like the rest of the country - have experienced disruption over the past two years, and they should all be immensely proud of what they have achieved.

“Completing A Levels or vocational qualifications is no mean feat and the support students have been given by school leaders and teachers is invaluable. I hope each and every young person at Ryde Academy who received their results today is now looking forward to taking their next step, whether that’s an apprenticeship or university, further training or the world of work  – but for now, I hope they are celebrating their achievements and feel very proud of their success.”

Sports Day July 2022

Our sports day went ahead at the end of last term and it was a fantastic day full of a variety of sporting events to include javelin, relay tug of war and many more. 

 The students kept cool with an endless supply of ice lollies and the ice cream truck over at Haylands. 

Green house were the overall winners.  A huge well done to all who took part!


Awards Evening  - July 2022


Ryde Academy held their Annual Awards Evening on Thursday 14th July. This was an evening where parents and staff were able to share in the success of Ryde Academy students.

Awards were presented for each subject for ‘Highest Achievement’ and Best Progress’. Awards were also given out to students with 100% attendance.

The following student, Kelsey Parratt, was awarded the Parent & Community Advisory Board Award by the Chair of the group, Steve Johnson.  This award was given to Kelsey for recognition of efforts she has made throughout the year.

Benson Hardy was presented with the Principal’s Award for services to the school and the incredible contribution he has made supporting students.

Parents and staff were also treated to two student performances; Talitha Monaghan singing ‘Homeward Bound’ and Jay Koppany who played ‘Allegro 4th Movement’ on the piano beautifully.

Professor Toby Salt, the Chair of the Ryde Academy Governing Board, was the guest Presenter for the evening and presented the 100% attendance awards

Joy Ballard, Principal, said:

‘It is always so moving to come together with our students and their families to share the student successes with parents & carers.  The students have all worked really hard this year and I am so proud of them for their achievements.  Thank you to all who attended and supported the evening.’

Prom 2022

On the 28th June our Year 11 Prom went ahead with a bang!  Over the last few months our Student Prom Committee have been working hard to plan this year's event and it was decided that it would be held at the Landguard Manor Hotel with a Masquerade Ball theme.  

One of our Year 11 parents, a professional balloon artist, kindly offered to help dress the venue with spectacular displays throughout.   

The students looked amazing in their evening attire!  They enjoyed a buffet style meal,  speeches and awards, followed by a disco, DJ’d by our very own Mr Nugent.  We also had the crowning of this Year's Prom King and Queen with the winners voted for by the students.  

The evening was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended and we wish all of Year 11 students the very best for the future!


Ryde Academy is now a drop off point for the local community as well as students for donations for Ukraine. We are collecting items which will be taken to those in desperate need over the coming weeks. The most required items at the moment are:

Medical kits/supplies, Men’s socks, Thermal blankets, Sleeping bags, Blankets, Nappies, Formula milk, New dummies, Baby food - jars/packets with long dates, Torches, Small suitcases on wheels, Travel bags, Small, clean teddies, Small toys which can be easily packed for travel, Crayons, Canned food, Long life food, Hand-warmers, Hot water bottles, Thermos flasks, Pet food, Toiletries including feminine care.

Clothes are not needed at present.

We are in the process of organising other events to raise funds. Updates will be in our Parent Newsletter.

Christmas Carol Service

This year our carol service has been filmed so that we can share it with all our students, parents, and the wider community.  Please click on this link to see the order of service and words to the songs so you can join in.  We hope you enjoy!  

Please click here to view the service.  


Student Council Aspire Ryde Food Collection - December 2021

The Student Council organised their annual food collection for Aspire Ryde who help and support families in need.

This was organised through the House system and students could win points for their House for the most items donated.

The final results were:

Red House won with 186 items of food donated.

In second place was Blue House with 106 items.

Third place went to Yellow House who collected 97 items of food.

Fourth place was Green House for 93 items donated.

Steve Johnson from Aspire came to collect the donations. He said ‘Thank you to all the students, families and staff who donated to Aspire. This will help us to continue with the work we do with the community especially over Christmas when many families struggle and Covid has added extra pressures’


We were determined to not let Year 11 students miss their prom again because of Covid. Several ideas were discussed with the senior Prefect team and it was decided that a ‘PromFest’ would be the safest and most fun way of celebrating the end of their school career.

The Academy playing field was transformed into a festival site with a stage, face painting, noodle bar, burgers and mocktails. In place of dancing students were each given a rainbow flag to wave.

Lots of bands performed including a Dua Lipa tribute, The Phoenix Lopes Project as well as The Rockafellas and a staff band.

Students loved the event and said they would be happy to see this as a format for future Proms.

Photos by isleclickphotography

AET Remarkable Lives Competition

As part of the Remarkable Lives competition programme, students were asked to interview a member of SLT about a chosen topic. Benson in Year 10 spoke to Mrs Dorman, Assistant Vice Principal, about his subject which was the school curriculum.

On the 9th of June 2021, I met with Mrs Dorman, one of Ryde Academy's Assistant Vice Principals,

I chose to centre the interview around whether the school curriculum represents students. 

She spoke very passionately about the change that Ryde Academy has and is making to ensure that the subjects about which we learn are relevant to students within the Academy and reflect the wider global picture. She said ‘the school has worked hard to make an inclusive and developing curriculum’ this fact she seemed very proud of, and rightly so, from personal experience, subjects such as My Community and History highlight topics which may not be directly featured 

on the national curriculum but are relevant to young people. 

Mrs Dorman is also the former head of the History at Ryde 

Academy and when asked ‘do you think it is important for the curriculum to represent students’ she immediately answered yes 

and also provided an example of the Holocaust, which despite 

not being part of the key stage 3 curriculum is still taught in History as 

she believes that this is vital for young people to learn about such 

major events. She also referred to the, if it is forgotten then it will happen again sentiment that has been emphasised during such events as the Holocaust memorial day. This topic, she said, would also link into the wider focus of WW2 and provide context to 

why such happenings were so atrocious. 

I asked her finally, about what she thought should occur in order to further develop the work already done, and she said ‘the next step is to ask students what they want to see on the curriculum’ this really does show the positive and motivated way in which she plans to make sure that the curriculum continues to engage students, as well as representing them via the use of current issues.

I would like to thank Mrs Dorman for taking the time out of her busy schedule to discuss this topic with me.

Written by: Benson Hardy (Chair of the Student Council).

High Sheriff Award 2021

As with so many events this year, the Isle of Wight High Sheriff’s Award ceremony in March, which celebrates the achievement of young Islanders, had to be adapted due to Covid. 

In place of the usual ceremony, High Sheriff Caroline Peel, visited the Academy to present the winner, Jess Way age 16, with her award.

Jess has had a tough year not only because of the COVID restrictions, but also because her  mum became poorly in the summer, was admitted to hospital and sadly passed away in October. 

Even though Jess was faced with this enormous loss and her world being turned upside down she has continued to attend school every day and work hard to get the best results possible in her GCSE year.  

Putting a brave face on and trying to get through every day as best she can.  She has done this whilst also running the home, supporting her dad and brother through their grief and also being a great support to her friends who are also going through hard times.  

Joy Ballard said ‘Jess is incredibly special to us at the Academy and she makes us proud all the time’. Her resilience, determination and bravery inspire me every day’.

The High Sheriff, Caroline Peel, said: In common with the other nominees for the High Sheriff’s awards this year, Jess has overcome not only personal bereavement but also the restrictions and confinements of Covid, and has come through with flying colours.  Good luck Jess’.

Geography Photo Competition

The Geography department held a photography competition during lockdown. Students were asked to take a Geography themed photo whilst they were out on their daily exercise – it could be linked to maps, coasts, rivers, towns, forests or any unit that they covered in Geography.

The overall standard of photographs was amazing and really showcased the beauty of the island. The winners were judged by Sam Warren, a Go Pro Creator and photographer based on the island @thecamofsam.

Of the entries Sam said “I was very impressed by the talent and range of style from the students, they certainly have an eye for photography! I hope they all continue on with the art and make the most of the spring flowers that are about to bloom, a perfect time to shoot!”

The winners are

Taylor Sedgwick (age 11)

Leah Tinsley (age 14)

Yvie Partridge (age 13)

Ella Brooks-Pepper (age 16)

Their photos, as well as some of the other entries, will be included in a calendar being produced later in the year with proceeds being given to Aspire.

Remembrance Day

The Student Council organised this year's service which was attended by Year 7 Student Council members and the 4 senior Prefects. The event was filmed so students in the whole school could watch and take part later in the day in their classrooms.

Council Chairs, India Dale (15) and Benson Hardy (14) raised the flag and Harry Sheppard played 'The Last Post' after the minute's silence. Head of History, Mrs Dorman also read out a poem.

Southern Dance Awards

Well done to all the students who took part in the Southern Dance Class Awards. Southern Dance is an annual 1 day event that aims to create a friendly dance environment in which young performers can showcase their core technique and talents. This year it took place virtually.

The students competed in the contemporary, Jazz, lyrical and commercial heats. All of the students qualified for one of the category finals and Ben Thompson came first in both the Jazz and commercial dances.

It was an extremely challenging competition. Many of the competitors represent Team England in the Dance World Cup or belong to prestigious associates programmes including the Royal Ballet and Central School of Ballet so the students did remarkably well.

Mrs Seaton said: ‘We were astounded by the phenomenal talent showcased by some of the competitors, some of whom have represented England at the Dance World Cup in Portugal. I was delighted with the results from our students who performed like professionals and did the Academy proud’.

VE Day 75th Anniversary

Students  have not let lockdown stop them honouring the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.  Although the Student Council organised tea party for the community has been postponed until later in the year, students have been doing a range of work and activities to commemorate the day.

The History Department set special tasks last week based on the anniversary. Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 were given home learning on the original VE Day and what it meant for society plus they were set extra challenges to complete based on the 1940s. Mrs Dorman, Head of History, and the History team have been delighted to receive lots of family memories from students who interviewed relatives who remembered the end of the second World War. 

Matthew Tam, age 13, was one the many students who created poems.

As well as baking and poetry a group of students also decided to write a letter of gratitude to residents of St Vincent's Care Home in Ryde. 

Dear  Sir or Madam, 

Since the start of this year, the Student Council at Ryde Academy have been organising and preparing for a VE day themed afternoon tea for our grandparents, and others in the community.  It was with great sadness that we had to postpone the event due to recent happenings. So we have decided to write a letter of gratitude to everyone who played a role in World War Two to make sure that their victory is remembered and commemorated in the way that it deserves to be.

WAR… this word of only three letters and one single syllable, has the ability to send a cold shiver down the spine, of any man or woman, boy or girl. With the memory of the second world war still vivid in the minds of our greatest generation on the 8th of may we come together, in solidarity to remember the atrocities of the second world war, but also to remember the contrasting event that signalled the end of a six year bloodbath, to which  so many men and women were lost… VE day.

It is hard for the younger generations of this country to imagine being at war with such a formidable enemy, and having to sacrifice their livelihood and in many cases their lives to serve King and country, and to try and restore freedom. However it is events like this that help us to connect with the heroes and heroines of this country past and present. For every young person that is ignorant to accept that they should be appreciative of the: soldiers, seamen, pilots, nurses, politicians, ARP wardens, factory workers and people from every other sector of society who had a large or small impact on the outcome of the second world war, there are thousands more young people who see you in the way that you should be seen…   as heroes.

This week has been a very important one as it was… the 75th anniversary of  VE day (the end of fighting in Europe) despite the 8th of May not being the end of the war completely for Britain the countries pre-war peace was starting to appear again, thanks to many brave people who were loyal  to King and country and therefore gave everything they could to their nation and to the freedom that they were laboriously fighting for. The Isle of Wight, despite being a relatively small island, played some very key roles in the second world war.  Cowes was used and relied on quite heavily for its world class shipbuilding and like so many places in Britain, it was bombed. On the 4th of May 1942 Cowes was bombed by the Nazi Luftwaffe damaging houses and some of the shipbuilding facilities. It was due to the geographical situation of the Isle of Wight that the Island along with the rest of the south coast would have been invaded first if the Nazi High Command had followed through with their plan to launch an attack of the same nature as Operation Overlord (D-day), and this meant that places such as the Isle of Wight were fortified. The battery at Alum Bay was influential in the war and, on the highest part of the Island (st. Boniface down) they boasted radar masts and an underground bunker; these were just a part of the complex measures to try and protect the rest of Britain. During the war the radar station there was bombed twice however it didn’t take long at all for the masts to be up and running again. Sadly the consequence of the Luftwaffe's bombing campaign on the Isle of Wight was  the death of seventy people. Many more from the Island died whilst fighting for their country. 

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude for you putting your lives at risk for the welfare of our country. The sacrifices that you made to protect the lives of our nation will never be forgotten and the victories that we have shared as a country are immense. We would like to say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices and your bravery. We will never forget.  We will never be ungrateful. Thank you,  our country would not have survived without your devotion...

Lest we forget.

Best wishes,

Evie Thomas (year 7) , Lewey Way (year 7) , Sasha Ringer (year 8) , Chloe Caller (year 8), Benson Hardy (year 9) and everyone at Ryde Academy. 

Lego League Tournament

Essential Teaching UK hosted an IET FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament on 21 January 20. The tournaments are the culmination of weeks of preparation, where students have worked in teams to design, build and programme a robot, and create an innovative solution to a real-world problem.

73 IET FIRST® LEGO® League tournaments are taking place across the UK and Ireland. These are fun and exciting events where teams of young people compete to put their robot through its paces, and communicate their ideas, sharing what they have learnt with judges.

Local School and Groups were up for the challenge and have been working hard developing their entries for the competition on the Isle of Wight at Ryde Academy. Those that enter were; UTC Portsmouth, Portchester Community School, Cowes Enterprise College, Christ the King School, Ditcham Park School, Thornden School, Priory School (IOW), Ryde Academy, Isle of Wight Free School, Medina College and New Milton Home Ed Group.

In the 2019-20 FIRST® LEGO® League CITY SHAPER℠ Challenge, teams aged 9 to 16 learn all about architecture and the spaces we live in. They demonstrated their skills in robotics, computer programming, research, and communication, as well as needing to demonstrate the FIRST® LEGO® League Core Values, which include teamwork, problem-solving and friendly competition.

Lowri Walton, FIRST® LEGO® League IET Education Manager, said: “Teams who take part in FIRST®LEGO® League this year will experience engineering in action. The programme makes STEM subjects fun and accessible as the young people get hands-on experience with robotics and designing innovative solutions. The teams develop computer programming, teamwork, problem-solving and communication skills in an incredibly exciting environment.

“It’s a fact that the need for engineers has never been greater. The IET supports FIRST® LEGO® League because it equips young people with the skills that they need to become future innovators and engineers. FIRST® LEGO® League is the world’s largest STEM competition with 40,000 teams in more than 100 countries and the IET is proud to be the operational partners for the programme in the UK and Ireland.”

Gavin Lumsden, Essential Teaching UK CEO, said: "We set up these local competitions to ensure that these children get access to some life enriching STEM experiences that they otherwise would not have, in the hope that these experiences will increase their aspirations for a successful future".

"We hope this event will benefit the school communities by raising awareness of STEM subjects and boosting uptake on these subjects by both girls and boys who will then enter these industries.  It also provides an outstanding educational opportunity and greatly enriches the current curriculum."

The IOW Regional Champions were: 

Overall Winner -  Portchester Community School  

Robot Performance - Cowes Enterprise College 

Judges Award - Ryde Academy

Core Values - UTC Portsmouth

Innovation Award - Priory School (IOW)

Robot Design - Christ the King School

Well Done to all Teams who entered. FIRST® LEGO® League is part of a wider IET education programme, made up of a whole host of teaching resources and activities to inspire and attract the engineers of tomorrow.

For more information about this year’s FIRST® LEGO®League competition, please visit

 Robotics Project

In December, 12 Ryde Academy students participated in a Robotics project hosted by Johnson Electric, a global electronics engineering company. They specialise in a number of different applications, of particular interest is their work with major automotive companies on different circuits.

Dominic Ward, Operations and Project Engineering Director for Johnson Electric brought along 2 engineers with him to work with Mr John Nicholson (STEM Lead and teacher of Computer Science) and Mr Jon Dallimore (Design Technology Teacher). One of the engineers was a former student at the Academy. 

Students were given hands on experience building their own Raspberry Pi controlled robot, linked to a system of motors and cameras. The robots were sophisticated enough to be linked via WiFi to a mobile phone and controlled using the touch screen.

At the end students competed to see which of them could navigate their team’s robot most effectively around a designated course.

Students learnt valuable engineering skills such as how to wire up motors and batteries in the correct order along with understanding the different materials used.

It was a great opportunity for them to work with industry experts and gain an insight to possible engineering careers on and off the Island. 

Isle of Wight Faraday Challenge

 On Thursday 5th December a group of students,  Emma Perkis, Ella Vodden, Cameron Colleypriest, Draven Scovell, Chloe Leigh Caller and Charlie in Year 8, took part in the Isle of Wight Faraday Challenge hosted by Christ The King School. There were 4 teams present from Ryde Academy, Christ The King and Ryde School.

The national competition was organised by The Institution of Engineering and Technology. Isle of Wight students challenged by Airbus to come up with a device that could be used during a weather disaster such as a forest fire, flood or tornado.

The teams were given as little guidance as possible to ensure it was their own solution. They were provided with a limited amount of currency, known as ‘Faradays’ which they could then use in the ‘shop’ to buy equipment for their project. They could buy things like motors, sensors and building materials. Students were given a limited budget and time to shop so they had to plan their design and spending in advance to ensure they were awarded the best number of points for their documentation, teamwork, presentation and design.

Team one from Christ The King designed a chair that used a servo motor to convert into a stretcher style bed, this was also on wheels and had a motor control so that it can easily be moved. Team two designed a vehicle that could carry fresh water in a disaster situation and had a sensor to let users know when the container was full. Ryde School’s team created a safe house that was buried in the ground and had lighting and heating during times of emergency, this could be deployed in advance of a potential weather threat.

The Ryde Academy team came up with a prototype for a floating platform that could be deployed in a flood. The platform would be dropped from an Airbus vehicle and parachute onto water. On landing the sensor detects water and activates alarms and lights to let people know where it is. The device has a bridge which can be deployed and is filled with supplies to help in an emergency situation. The students produced a well thought out plan, a working model and then presented their findings to the other teams. Their their work earned them the winning vote and they were praised highly on their project. All the teams displayed impressive skills as future project managers, designers and engineers and should be commended for the work they produced.

NASA Astro Pi Competition

A group of students have made it through to the next round of the NASA Astro Pi competition. Astro Pi is a series of competitions which allow European school students to run computer science experiments on the International Space Station.

Draven Scovell (12), Cameron Colleypriest (13), Lewis Parkinson (13), Ella Vodden (12) and Emma Perkis (12) have come up with the idea of using small computers to measure magnetic readings from the International Space Station, in order to predict the best orbit of Earth.

NASA and The Raspberry Pi Foundation thought the idea was so strong that they are now through to compete against other schools. On completion of the design their idea could end up going into space and the experiments carried out on the International Space Station.